Age: 46 to 55
Number of Cruises: 11
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Legend of the Seas
Sailing Date: September 16, 1999
Itinerary: Western Mediterranean
We are cruise enthusiasts, and have taken a total of 16 cruises, but this one was by far the best ever. Through out the cruise, I kept remarking - this is an experience of a lifetime – and it was the combination of a beautiful ship, an exciting itinerary, wonderful service and an outstanding staff that made this cruise such a memorable experience.
Our embarkation in Barcelona was flawless; it took us less than 30 minutes to clear through the necessary paperwork and be in our cabin. We were fortunate enough to have a cabin with a verandah, which provided us with 12 days of wonderful scenic views. We enjoyed one day in Barcelona prior to embarkation which gave us a chance to recover from jet lag, assure that our luggage arrived and enjoy walking around the city and especially enjoying Las Rambles –a not to be missed experience.
The 12 night Western Mediterranean itinerary included stops in Marseilles, Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Naples, a restful day at sea, 2 days in Venice, a day at sea, Messina, Sicily, Civitavecchia (Rome), Villefranche (Monte Carlo/Cannes), one last day at sea, and back in to Barcelona for disembarkation. We enjoyed every port of call, thinking each one was the best, until we arrived in the port for the following day. The culture, the history, the art, the religious significance of everywhere we went were experiences that can’t be replicated in a book or taught in a class. Experiencing them, live, in person, in color was awesome. The breath-taking scenery, especially in Capri, Venice and from the hilltops of Eze along the French Riviera was spectacular. The art work in Florence, the canals and beauty of Venice, the architectural ruins near Messina, the spiritual experience of visiting the Vatican and St. Peter’s Cathedral, the historical significance of Pompeii, and the excitement of Monte Carlo and serene beauty of Cannes and Nice are memories that will last a lifetime.
The food, service, cleanliness of the ship, entertainment and on-board activities were all very good. The one aspect of the cruise that I found to be a challenge was that there was so much to do, and so little time to do it. At each of the ports of call, there were a number of excursions I would have liked to have taken – but time allowed for only one. Oh – to have such serious problems!
Our captain, Thomas Wildung, Master of the Legend of the Seas, deserves special mention. He remembered us from a previous cruise, and extended invitations to us to dine with him and also spend time on the bridge. Those two unique and special experiences were a part of making this cruise very special. Also, our waiter Constantine Matei and Head Waiter, Debra Woods were outstanding. We enjoyed our cabin steward, Ericka, who went out of her way to have our cabin in tiptop condition at all times. Dale and Mary Nathan, who worked in the casino, also were on many of the shore excursions with us. They went out of their way to make sure our excursions were safe and comfortable, and never failed to greet us with a friendly hello when we saw them on the ship. Matthew Gillespie, the jeweler on board, was especially knowledgeable, not only about jewelry, but about the ship, cruising in general, and was always helpful in answering questions. With cruising becoming more competitive all the time – customer service and satisfaction will be prime considerations, and the Legend of the Seas is #1 in our book.
In fact, as I read back over this review, and noticed the times I mentioned once in a lifetime, and memories to last a lifetime – I must confess now are not true. We just put a deposit down on this same cruise ship and itinerary for next September. That should speak volumes!